USA imposes sanctions on Russian Federation over Skripal poisonings in Salisbury

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In turn, Russia's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakahrova promised Moscow already was preparing retaliatory measures.

The sanctions came as an eagerly-watched contest for a previously safe Republican seat in the United States congress went to the wire, leading to speculation that voters were turning against Donald Trump and could punish the Republican Party at mid-term elections. "It threatens the security of us all", the statement read.

However, the second tranche, activated after 90 days if Moscow fails to provide "reliable assurances" it will no longer use chemical weapons and allow on-site inspections by the United Nations or other worldwide observer groups, is more serious. The statement also accused Russian Federation of violating worldwide law.

UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt thanked the United States on Thursday in a tweet.

"There is local panic on the currency market", BCS Brokerage said in a note. It kicked out 60 diplomats - the highest number of any country.

"The trading range of the upcoming week is seen at 64.25-67.50 roubles", analysts at Alfa bank said, referring to the dollar-rouble pair.

"I think that's the way we have to understand this.there's actually no logical reason for them to do this now", he said, noting that the United Kingdom hasn't produced any new evidence or information about the Skripal case which would have prompted the sanctions.

Moscow has been trying to improve battered US-Russia ties with mixed success. "So linking these events is unacceptable to us, and just as with previous USA sanctions we believe are absolutely illegal and against global law", Peskov told reporters.

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"This sort of decision by the American side is an absolutely unfriendly act", Peskov said Thursday. S. was illegal under worldwide law and that Russia's financial system was stable.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov came out swinging Thursday morning against a new round of US sanctions against Russian Federation.

In contrast, the U.S. move was warmly welcomed by Downing Street which has consistently blamed Moscow for the attack in March on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia with a military-grade Novichok nerve agent developed by the former Soviet Union.

If Moscow violates the sanctions then it could see restrictions on flights from the Russian Aeroflot airline to the USA, sanctions on US bank loans, increased export and import restrictions, including on gas and petroleum, and potentially even a downgrade of diplomatic relations.

Faced with a new round of US -sanctions over alleged chemical weapons use, Russia denounced the move as an "illegal" gesture that defied attempts by President Donald Trump and Russian leader Vladimir Putin aimed at improving relations during a recent summit.

"Sanctions are the US weapon of choice", Trenin wrote on Twitter.

Sanctions can be quite a blunt instrument if they are a blanket ban on something, and can have unintended consequences. He added that the new sanctions amount to "inflicting a punishment in the absence of a crime in the tradition of lynch law".

According to a statement by the six senators, the bill seeks to punish Russia for its "continued interference in our elections, malign influence in Syria, aggression in Crimea, and other activities" and targets investments in energy projects supported by the Russian government both in the country and overseas.

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